A few weeks ago, the U.S. appeared to be on its way towards getting the coronavirus pandemic under control. The numbers of hospitalizations and deaths were regressing, whilst vaccines became more easily available, and a large part of the United States population took advantage of them.
Then, the virus mutated, and doctors started identifying the Delta variant. This mutation of the virus has been designated a ‘Variant of Concern’ (VOC) by the World Health Organization (WHO). It is now responsible for most new coronavirus infections worldwide. The U.S. is no exception.
Combined with slower vaccine uptake, some states are facing dire situations with a high spread of cases. The virus tends to manifest more severely in unvaccinated patients. Those vaccinated may still be infected, but generally, the illness takes a much less severe course.
Like the Delta variant, the Lambda variant is a mutation of the original coronavirus identified in 2019. Contrary to Delta, Lambda has been classified as a ‘Variant of Interest’ (VOI) by the WHO. A VOI is considered to be less serious or threatening to public health than a VOC. However, even VOIs can still cause significant community transmission, and they may be resistant to immunity or established therapy. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have not yet listed the Lambda variant.
Scientists first recorded the Lambda variant in Peru in December 2020, and it has since been found in about 30 other countries across the world, including the United States. In Peru, which has the world’s highest per capita death rate from coronavirus, this strain is now responsible for 80% of infections.
For several weeks now, the number of COVID-19 infections has been rising once again across almost all states. As of the first week of August 2021, the U.S. had just over 1,000 confirmed cases of the COVID-19 Lambda variant.
Whilst 1,000 infections may not sound like a large number, there are several areas of concern for this strain. Similar to the Delta variant, the Lambda strain is highly transmissible. As vaccination rates are declining throughout the country, the new strain has a larger opportunity to grow. The consequences range from lives being disrupted due to prolonged illness to increased hospitalizations, and a potential rise in coronavirus deaths.
The Lambda strain has made headlines for its potential resistance to various COVID-19 vaccines. However, the vaccines available in the United States, appear to provide good protection against all major strains. Most deaths and hospitalizations from the virus now affect unvaccinated people.
The coronavirus vaccination using the vaccines approved in the United States remains our most potent weapon in the fight against the pandemic. The more people are vaccinated, the slower the virus can spread. Slowing down the spread also slows down the likelihood of further mutations of the coronavirus.
Every time the virus is transmitted to another person, it has an opportunity to change its characteristics. Eventually, this process leads to new strains. With every new strain, there is the potential for faster transmission, more serious illness, and vaccine resistance.
If you have not been vaccinated already, consider making an appointment today. Whilst you may still become infected with one of the coronavirus strains, your chances of serious illness, hospitalization, or death are much reduced.
As an employer or a business manager, protecting your team does not need to be hard.
Health & Wellness Platform from TrueCare™ makes it easy to monitor your workforce for COVID-19 symptoms as well as arrange testing and on-site vaccination.
TrueCare™ is a nationwide Health & Wellness platform for families and businesses providing end-to-end solutions for COVID-19 testing, screening, vaccination, home care, and corporate well-being services.